Are you new to teaching Grade 3 or Grade 5 and are already feeling the Naplan pressure? Don’t!! Preparing your class for Naplan doesn’t have to be hard, require lots of photocopying and constant testing conditions. Using my fun, engaging and easy to use resources, you can trick your students into preparing for Naplan, in only 10 minutes a day!
After the birth of my first son, I was doing some long-term relief teaching in a Grade 5 class before NAPLAN. A student came to me one day and said how worried they were about NAPLAN and it was so scary. When I said it wasn’t hard, we had been practising for Naplan everyday in our Maths warm ups, they couldn’t believe it. Firstly, they had no idea that our warm ups were based on Naplan – we had been practising Naplan everyday without them realising it. And secondly, they commented on how easy the questions were! TEACHER WIN for sure!
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How to Get your Class Ready for Naplan
I am absolutely not a believer in giving students test after test, so they perfect Naplan and score really high. However, if students approach the testing cold, having never seen a Naplan test before, I believe their result will not be a true reflection of their capabilities.
Read more about what you should know and how to prepare your students for Naplan testing in this blogpost.
Introduction to the Structure of Naplan Tests
Whether students are completing their Naplan tests online or paper and pencil version, it is important they understand the structure of a Naplan test. Depending on past experiences, this may even be the first time students are introduced to multiple-choice questions.
Take students through what a Naplan test looks like and the logistics of where they record their name, where they can press pause if they need to and how to get to the next question. Look at one individual question. What is the question asking us? Where and how do we record our answers? This initial look through of a test will help students have greater success on the day of the test.
Once they understand the structure and how Naplan tests work, exposing students to Naplan style questions will help them feel more confident. I am not suggesting photocopying test after test and having students work in test like conditions to practise, practise, practise. Not sure about your students, but pretty sure mine would hate that! In my plan, I am suggesting 10 minutes a day, of intense teaching of the style of Naplan tests and the terminology that is used.
The terminology used in Naplan is different to what some students are used to being exposed to. By practising Naplan style tests in small chunks on a daily basis, you are giving students the opportunity to get used to what the terms mean. Often students know the answer, but just don’t understand the question that is being asked.
A quick glance at a practise test highlights these words.
- number sentence
All simple words, but when put into a Maths question, they can easily confuse some students. Think about your usual Maths lesson. You differentiate to suit students and use different terms depending on the level of student’s thinking. Naplan, at this stage, doesn’t differentiate. All students across the whole state get the same test. I also believe some of the difficulties come back to the hands-on approach we use towards teaching Maths in Australia. Where possible, we don’t photocopy worksheets or use a textbook when teaching Maths. We give students hands-on experiences, think creatively and are always catering to their individual needs.
Using these posters as my classroom alphabet has helped students understand and remember specific Maths terms. They are can be puchased in many different formats here.
Whether we like it or not, we have to do Naplan tests, so making life easier for students and giving them greater confidence to answer questions and reflect their understanding is critical. The easiest way to introduce different Maths terminology to the students is through daily discussions. My NAPLAN inspired powerpoint slides are perfect as a warm up discussion to your Maths Lesson. Simply put up one or two questions a day, have students answer the question and as a class work through why that answer must be correct.
Reading Naplan Questions Correctly
The number one mistake students make when completing their Naplan tests is not reading the question correctly. They might be rushing through, thinking they have to be the first one finished, or simply just want to get it over and done with. Or maybe they don’t care (I know I have definitely had some of those students before…). By doing small Naplan style warm ups over multiply weeks, reading the question fully will become second nature. When correcting the answers with students, you will be able to recognise those students who didn’t read the question fully and where they got confused. Point this out to students, discuss it as a class. Ensuring students read the questions correctly is all practise, practise, practise!
Multiple Choice Questions
How do you teach students to find the right answer? The trick with Multiple Choice Questions is that there is always an answer there that will trick students. If they don’t read all the instructions or make a common mistake, there will be an answer there for that. This is the process I model to students when answering Multiple Choice Questions as a class.
- Read the question carefully
- Have a guess at what you think the answer might be
- Read all answers carefully
- Eliminate the answers it definitely can’t be
- Use a strategy to work out the answer
- Double check that none of the other answers could be correct by putting it back into the question.
If students are left choosing between 2 answers, teach the students to choose the best answer. Due to the length given for Naplan, this is a careful balance, you want them to be able to go through this process fairly quickly as second nature.
What Should our Classroom Look Like During Naplan Testing?
How you structure your classroom during Naplan testing will look a little different for everyone. I like to hand out all the resources individually to the students, so the students can remain calm and in their seats while everyone gets organised. Follow the guidelines set out in the Naplan Teacher Resource book provided.
Prior to testing, create an anchor chart of what your classroom will look like during testing. Include what to do if students need to go to the toilet, are having computer problems or need to sharpen their pencil. Think of every situation that might come up
How to Teach Students in 10 minutes a Day!
With all this wonderful background knowledge you now have, I am here to help save you time and worry with some fantastic Naplan inspired resources. All resources are aimed at helping you prepare your students in ONLY 10 minutes a day!
Naplan Maths Powerpoint Presentation
I have referred to this easy warm up a few times in my blogpost. Including 36 Naplan Style questions as a powerpoint presentation, these Maths questions are perfect for displaying on your TV or Interactive Whiteboard and going through questions as a class.
After working through the powerpoint with the class, you might like to go over the questions again as a write the room activity. Place each question around the room and students work around the room, answering questions. A great activity to do in the few days before NAPLAN. You don’t even need to put all the questions out at once!
What other teachers are saying!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “My kids loved playing this a a write the room warm up game for maths lesson in the weeks leading up to NAPLAN.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “This is a fantastic resource and I will use the write the room activity as scoot for a fun last minute practise. Thanks for creating such a useful resource.”
Daily Practise Worksheets
I am so excited to share these new products with you! I have put together simple, print easy daily worksheets to make preparing for testing easy for everyone!
Containing 3 days on each A4 piece of paper, completing these worksheets individually or in partners is not going to break your photocopying budget!
Check out all my NAPLAN resources on Teachers Pay Teachers. I guarantee you they will save you time and make preparing for NAPLAN fun! Because, you know I am all about helping other teachers!
I mentioned above how important it is to differentiate your Maths lessons. If you find differentiation daunting, read How to Differentiate Maths Games on my blog.